Articles | Volume 16, issue 2
Research article
18 Feb 2022
Research article |  | 18 Feb 2022

Sentinel-1 time series for mapping snow cover depletion and timing of snowmelt in Arctic periglacial environments: case study from Zackenberg and Kobbefjord, Greenland

Sebastian Buchelt, Kirstine Skov, Kerstin Krøier Rasmussen, and Tobias Ullmann

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Cited articles

Abermann, J., Eckerstorfer, M., Malnes, E., and Hansen, B. U.: A large wet snow avalanche cycle in West Greenland quantified using remote sensing and in situ observations, Nat. Hazards, 97, 517–534, 2019. a
Abermann, J., Langley, K., Myreng, S. M., Rasmussen, K., and Petersen, D.: Heterogeneous timing of freshwater input into Kobbefjord, a low-arctic fjord in Greenland, Hydrol. Process., 35, e14413,, 2021. a, b
Alaska Satellite Facility: Copernicus Sentinel data 2017–18, retrieved from ASF DAAC [data set], processed by ESA, available at:, last access: 14 June 2021. a, b
Arslan, A., Tanis, C., Metsämäki, S., Aurela, M., Böttcher, K., Linkosalmi, M., and Peltoniemi, M.: Automated webcam monitoring of fractional snow cover in northern boreal conditions, Geosciences, 7, 55,, 2017. a
Assmann, J. J., Myers-Smith, I. H., Phillimore, A. B., Bjorkman, A. D., Ennos, R. E., Prevéy, J. S., Henry, G. H., Schmidt, N. M., and Hollister, R. D.: Local snow melt and temperature – but not regional sea ice–explain variation in spring phenology in coastal Arctic tundra, Glob. Change Biol., 25, 2258–2274,​​​​​, 2019. a, b
Short summary
In this paper, we present a threshold and a derivative approach using Sentinel-1 synthetic aperture radar time series to capture the small-scale heterogeneity of snow cover (SC) and snowmelt. Thereby, we can identify start of runoff and end of SC as well as perennial snow and SC extent during melt with high spatiotemporal resolution. Hence, our approach could support monitoring of distribution patterns and hydrological cascading effects of SC from the catchment scale to pan-Arctic observations.